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Security Deposit and Notice to vacate by SeattleGeek (NJ) on May 13, 2011 @21:23

                              
I rented a house in NJ on a 6 month lease term. The term expired and automatically renewed as month-to-month lease. I gave a notice by end of February to the landlord to vacate the apartment by the end of March. Within a few days, I spoke to the landlord again and told him that I won't be vacating. He agreed. Since then I have been paying the rent regularly.
I just discovered that I can use the security deposit as rent since the landlord didn't give me a notice to security deposit within 30 days (after receiving my security deposit). So, I sent him a notice stating that I'm going to use the security deposit as rent for June. Now, he is retaliating. He sent me a notice (improper with factual errors and no landlord's signature) stating that I need to vacate by the end of May (less than 30 day notice) as I already gave him a notice to vacate. He is threatening to take legal action and charge me with attorney fees and not returning the security deposit if I don't comply. Can he evict me now? Am I liable to pay double rent for all these 3 months?
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Re: Security Deposit and Notice to vacate by EM (TX) on May 13, 2011 @22:12 [ Reply ]
At best, it sounds like you're trying to take advantage of a technicality. At worst, it sounds like you're trying to cheat your landlord.

If you want real legal advice, get a lawyer (or read the statutes and/or your lease yourself, and take from them what you will).

Re: Security Deposit and Notice to vacate by Katiekate (New York) on May 14, 2011 @06:05 [ Reply ]
Since you have declared that you do not plan to pay the June rent... the Landlord has told you that you need to be gone before June 1.

The Security Deposit is NOT RENT MONEY.

You are looking for some way to skip out on the Landlord. You know you owe the June rent. AND you know that the Security Deposit is to cover damages to the unit... NOT RENT.

So you are trying to "play" the game.

I will tell you this..I was once a renter in NJ. I went to court with my Landlord at the time. The Judge saw the truth and dealt with justice. He will see through your attempt at 'gaming the system' and you with lose.

PAY THE JUNE RENT on time. Leave the unit clean and undamaged and you will get your SD back. Take pictures that document the condition when you leave.

Re: Security Deposit and Notice to vacate by Dizzy (Wonderland) on May 14, 2011 @07:50 [ Reply ]
A SD is a SD and cannot be used as rent; let's hope your LL takes this through the courts and you have an eviction on your credit report! Good luck finding anything descent to rent in the future - perhaps you should look through the alleys now for a refrigerator box to live in...
Re: Security Deposit and Notice to vacate by OK-LL on May 14, 2011 @09:47 [ Reply ]
While it appears you have the legal right in NJ to use the SD as rent, provided the LL did not notify you where it was deposited within 30 days of originally receiving it, be very certain that you provide proper notice of the intended use of the SD as rent, per state law. Otherwise you'll be on the wrong side of the judge. Meanwhile, you may want to reconsider your decision to use it, since it appears to be putting strain on your LL/T relationship and you wanted to remain in the rental. Personally, if I were your LL and you wanted to use the SD as rent and your lease is expired, I'd give you a 30-day notice to terminate your tenancy and get you out before you cause damage that I no longer have an SD to cover.

This is from the LSNJ Law website:

Your right to use the security deposit as rent:
The law also says that if the landlord does not put the security money in a proper bank account, or does not give a proper written notice to the tenant every time the law says he or she has to, then the tenant can give a written notice to the landlord telling the landlord to use the whole deposit (plus seven percent interest per year) to pay the tenantís rent. (But be sure to read the next paragraph, which talks about a special situation.) This notice should be sent to the landlord by certified mail, return receipt requested, and you should keep a copy. The money can be used to pay future rent or any back rent the tenant owes. Once a tenant legally tells the landlord to use the security deposit as rent, the landlord canít ask the tenant for another deposit as long as the tenant lives in the apartment or house. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-19(c); Delmat v. Kahn, 147 N.J. Super. 293 (App. Div. 1977).

Note: There are two exceptions to the rights described in the paragraph above.

If a landlord does not obey the law that says he or she must pay the interest on the security deposit every year (or if the landlord does not use the interest to pay part of the tenantís rent), or


If the landlord does not give a notice about the deposit to the tenant every year,
the tenant can use the deposit to pay past or future rent due. But before the tenant can do this, the tenant must give or send the landlord a letter giving the landlord 30 days to pay the interest or give the annual notice. (This notice should also be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and you should keep a copy.) Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-19(c).

Re: Security Deposit and Notice to vacate by Jake on May 14, 2011 @18:46 [ Reply ]
The landlord has many options to get your money and wreck your credit since you have informed him you have stopped paying rent. Going through life as a deadbeat is not way to live. Many people will punish you for it in the coming years. Your landlord is only one of the first.

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